Lingcod, halibut on the improve in Sound.

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While a few doors on spring fishing opportunities close, many others have swung wide open with decent action reported.

Lingcod fishing in Puget Sound, which started off on slow side when it opened May 1, has finally picked up.

“We’re actually doing better now compared to when the season first began,” said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett. “We’ve gotten fish on every trip and it’s still not like the old days, but a keeper fish (only lingcod between 26- and 36-inches may be kept) or two per trip as well as some undersized and oversized ones.”

Live flounders work the best to catch lingcod so be sure to stop off along a sandy bottom area, and hook some to use for bait.

Lingcod fishing is open in most areas of Puget Sound with best choices being Possession Bar on the south side of Whidbey Island; the breakwaters at Elliott Bay, Shilshole and Edmonds marinas; Point Evans; south of Hat Island; southeast of Alki Point near the green buoys; and Toliva Shoal.

Another bottom-fish garnering plenty of attention especially for their barn-door sized reputation is halibut, which is reopens this Sunday in some marine areas.

Areas opening are Westport (Area 2), La Push (3), Neah Bay (4), Sekiu (5), Port Angeles (6), San Juan Islands (7), east side of Whidbey Island (8), northern Puget Sound (9) and central Puget Sound (10). Ilwaco’s all-depth area is open Thursdays through Sundays and near-shore is open Mondays through Wednesdays only.

La Push, Neah Bay, Sekiu, Port Angeles, San Juan Islands, east side of Whidbey Island, and northern and central Puget Sound will also reopen May 25 for halibut fishing.

In Puget Sound the catch total for May 4 and 6 is 23,764 pounds leaving 41,198 pounds left to catch.

On the northern coast the catch total for May 4 and 6 is 43,517 pounds with 72,082 pounds left to catch; Westport anglers caught 27,235 pounds with 21,072 pounds still available to catch; and the Ilwaco catch has been updated but has a quota of 12,799 pounds.

Catches will be assessed at a later date to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days.

More lakes received another round of hefty trout plants this past week to boost fishing prospects.

In King County – Green in North Seattle was planted with 2,525 on May 9; Haller, 1,400 on May 8; Beaver, 504 on May 9; Bitter, 1,500 on May 8; Echo 99, 1,200 on May 8; and Sawyer, 350 on May 8.

In Snohomish County – Gissburg Pond North, 500 on May 8; Gissburg South, 1,680 on May 8; Blackmans, 2,001 on May 1; and Silver, 350 on May 9. In Pierce County – American, 1,200 on May 9; and Crescent, 1,600 on May 8.

In Thurston County – Black, 4,080 on May 9; Clear, 6,000 on May 10; Pattison, 2,160 on May 8; and Summit, 5,014 on May 8. In Jefferson County – Sandy Shore, 805 on May 9. In Skagit County – Clear, 350 on May 10; and Campbell, 620 on May 10.

In Kitsap County – Buck, 490 on May 10; Horseshoe, 600 on May 9; Panther, 1,420 on May 9; and Wildcat, 1,600 on May 11. In Mason County – Aldrich, 150 on May 8; Benson, 1,065 on May 10; Clara, 255 on May 8; Howell, 110 on May 8; Wooten, 1,555 on May 10; Phillips, 1,000 on May 11; Robbins, 250 on May 8; Spencer, 2,650 on May 10; and Tiger, 1,090 on May 11.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas The spot shrimp fishery was good Wednesday in Hood Canal, and anglers will get one more chance Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other spot shrimp areas are now closed, and state fisheries will reassess the catch data to see if additional fishing time can occur. Southern Puget Sound south of the Narrows Bridge is open for salmon through June 30. San Juan Islands are closed for salmon. Coastal bottom-fishing is very good for black rockfish and lingcod.
Biting: YesRating: ★★  
Statewide rivers Slow to fair for spring chinook in the Cowlitz, and fair for spring chinook and steelhead in the Kalama. In Wind River, 282 boat rods this past week kept 47 adult and two jack spring chinook and released one. At Drano Lake, 477 boat rods kept 68 adult and one jack spring chinook and released one. On Klickitat River, 11 bank anglers kept seven adult and one jack spring chinook and one steelhead. Columbia mainstem is closed for salmon and steelhead, but open for shad and just a few are trickling in and not worth an angler’s time just yet. Lower Yakima is open for hatchery spring chinook and high and turbid. Canyon Creek opens May 27 with a plant of 5,500 trout. Little White Salmon River opens May 27 with 3,000 trout being planted. Spring Creek (within Goldendale Hatchery property) opens May 27 and will be planted with 3,000 trout.
Biting: YesRating: ★★  
Statewide lakes Trout catches are fairly good at Mineral, Green, Spanaway, Margaret, Jameson, Angle, Beaver and Rattlesnake. Slow to fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Fair to good for lake trout and kokanee in Lake Chelan. Tacoma Power released 4,000 trout into Mayfield Lake this past week, and another 72,000 will be planted through August. Swift Reservoir opens June 3 with a plant of 45,000 trout.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★